Having fully recovered from the injuries that hampered him during the opening round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island, Tom Sykes has sent out a warning to his rivals that he will continue to be difficult to beat over a single lap this year by storming to pole position at Motorland Aragon.
The 2012 runner-up was a dominant figure during Superpole last season, picking up nine pole positions in 14 attempts, a feat he could replicate this season should he be able to maintain his impressive form at Motorland Aragon.
Already the lap record holder after dominating for pole position at the Spanish circuit last year, Sykes turned in another new personal best of 1min 56.339secs during this year's Superpole to deny Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies the top spot.
A 12th career pole position for Sykes – ten of which have now come in just a year -, the Briton was delighted to be back at maximum following his recent wrist and rib woes.
“It has been a long break since the first race a few weeks ago but Kawasaki has worked so hard since then and made improvements to the bike, and that brought something extra. It has been nice to ride without any injuries this weekend as well after my fall in testing at Phillip Island.
"The most important thing to get today was a start on the front row and not worry too much about pole position but it was good to get my first Superpole win of the year for my Spanish-based team.
"There will be two long and hard races tomorrow so it is important to keep up a high level of consistency."
The effective home round for his factory Kawasaki team, which is overseen by the Spanish-based Provec team, Sykes is also hoping to put in a good result in dedication of former team-mate Joan Lascorz, who has recently begun his new role as a television commentator.
"I have a lot of supporters here because the team is based here and my old team-mate Joan Lascorz is also doing commentary on Spanish TV so hopefully I can give him something to talk about in the races.
"I want to leave here with a lot of points and move forward consistently.”
By Neil Morrison